A Tale of Two Van Wingerdens

Features - Cover Story | Introduction

Two families, connected by name and horticulture industry fame, share their cannabis journeys in this dual-feature cover story.

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December 6, 2021

This issue’s cover story is one of coincidence and opportunity. It is a story that crosses continents, generations, and long-established roots and reputations in mainstream horticulture.

It is a story of members of two Van Wingerden families—Jake Van Wingerden, president of SunMed Growers in Maryland, and David and Cindy Van Wingerden of Farmlane in California—and how they each ventured beyond their families’ multigenerational legacies in the ornamental and cut flower/produce markets (respectively) into unknown cannabis territory, as others, many skeptical, watched on.

The somewhat surprising aspect of the story is that despite sharing the famed Van Wingerden name, and a Dutch heritage with mid-twentieth century family immigration to the U.S., there is no definitive relation between the two families. As Jolene Hansen, the cover story’s author writes, “If a family connection exists, it traces so far back that no one really knows.”

The Van Wingerdens in this special joint feature, however, are undoubtedly connected by their journeys into cannabis.

In the following links, their stories are told in a manner reflecting those similar yet separate trials, the risk in deviating from their families’ legacies, and how roots in mainstream horticulture have translated into their cannabis pursuits.

We hope you find lessons, inspiration, and a bit of intrigue in this special double feature.